by Michel Chossudovsky
August 9, 2010
The US and its allies are preparing to
launch a nuclear war directed against Iran with devastating
This military adventure in the real sense of the word threatens the
future of humanity.
While one can conceptualize the loss of life and destruction resulting
from present-day wars including Iraq and Afghanistan, it is impossible
to fully comprehend the devastation which might result from a Third
World War, using "new technologies" and advanced weapons, until it
occurs and becomes a reality.
The international community has endorsed nuclear war in the name of
World Peace. "Making the World safer" is the justification for launching
a military operation which could potentially result in a nuclear
But nuclear holocausts are not front page news!
In the words of
The Israeli government is preparing to use nuclear weapons in its next
war with the Islamic world. Here where I live, people often talk of the
Holocaust. But each and every nuclear bomb is a Holocaust in itself. It
can kill, devastate cities, destroy entire peoples.
interview with Mordechai Vanunu, December 2005).
Realities are turned upside down. In a twisted logic, a "humanitarian
war" using tactical nuclear weapons, which according to "expert
scientific opinion" are "harmless to the surrounding civilian
population" is upheld as a means to protecting Israel and the Western
World from a nuclear attack.
America's mini-nukes with an explosive capacity of up to six times a
Hiroshima bomb are upheld by authoritative scientific opinion as a
humanitarian bomb, whereas Iran's nonexistent nuclear weapons are
branded as an indisputable threat to global security.
When a US sponsored nuclear war become an "instrument of peace",
condoned and accepted by the World's institutions and the highest
authority, including the United Nations, there is no turning back: human
society has indelibly been precipitated headlong onto the path of
The following article first published in February 2006 under the title
Is the Bush Administration Planning a Nuclear Holocaust? Will the US
launch "Mini-nukes" against Iran in Retaliation for Tehran's
"Non-compliance"? documents in detail America's doctrine of preemptive
nuclear war, including war plans directed against Iran. What is
important to underscore is that five years ago, these war preparations
were already in an advanced stage of readiness.
The operational procedures for launching a nuclear war under the
umbrella of US Strategic Command are examined.
We are at a dangerous crossroads: The rules and guidelines governing the
use nuclear weapons have been "liberalized" (i.e. "deregulated" in
relation to those prevailing during the Cold War era).
The new doctrine
states that Command, Control, and Coordination (CCC) regarding the use
of nuclear weapons should be "flexible", allowing geographic combat
commanders to decide if and when to use of nuclear weapons:
combat commanders would be in charge of Theater Nuclear Operations (TNO),
with a mandate not only to implement but also to formulate command
decisions pertaining to nuclear weapons."
(Doctrine for Joint Nuclear
We have reached a critical turning point in our history. It is
absolutely essential that people across the land, nationally and
internationally, understand the gravity of the present situation and act
forcefully against their governments to reverse the tide of war.
August 9, 2010
"We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world.
It may be the fire destruction prophesied in the Euphrates Valley Era,
after Noah and his fabulous Ark... This weapon is to be used against
Japan... [We] will use it so that military objectives and soldiers and
sailors are the target and not women and children.
Even if the Japs are
savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world
for the common welfare cannot drop that terrible bomb on the old capital
or the new... The target will be a purely military one... It seems to
be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most
President Harry S. Truman
Diary, July 25, 1945
"The World will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima
a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to
avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians..."
President Harry S. Truman
in a radio speech to the Nation, August
9, 1945 (below video)
[Note: the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945; the
Second on Nagasaki, on August 9, on the same day as Truman's radio speech to
Listen to Excerpt of Harry S. Truman's speech
Hiroshima audio video
for Video, click above
At no point since the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August
6th, 1945, has humanity been closer to the unthinkable, a nuclear holocaust
which could potentially spread, in terms of radioactive fallout, over a
large part of the Middle East.
All the safeguards of the Cold War era, which categorized the nuclear bomb
as "a weapon of last resort" have been scrapped. "Offensive" military
actions using nuclear warheads are now described as acts of "self-defense".
The distinction between tactical nuclear weapons and the conventional
battlefield arsenal has been blurred. America's new nuclear doctrine is
based on "a mix of strike capabilities". The latter, which specifically
applies to the Pentagon's planned aerial bombing of Iran, envisages the use
of nukes in combination with conventional weapons.
As in the case of the first atomic bomb, which in the words of President
Harry Truman "was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base", today's
"mini-nukes" are heralded as "safe for the surrounding civilian population".
Known in official Washington, as "Joint Publication 3-12", the new nuclear
doctrine (Doctrine for Joint Nuclear
Operations, (DJNO) March 2005) calls
for "integrating conventional and nuclear attacks" under a unified and
"integrated" Command and Control (C2).
It largely describes war planning as a management decision-making process,
where military and strategic objectives are to be achieved, through a mix of
instruments, with little concern for the resulting loss of human life.
Military planning focuses on "the most efficient use of force", - i.e. an
optimal arrangement of different weapons systems to achieve stated military
In this context, nuclear and conventional weapons are considered to
be "part of the tool box", from which military commanders can pick and
choose the instruments that they require in accordance with "evolving
circumstances" in the war theater.
(None of these weapons in the Pentagon's
"tool box", including conventional bunker buster bombs, cluster bombs,
mini-nukes, chemical and biological weapons are described as "weapons of
mass destruction" when used by the United States of America and its
The stated objective is to:
"ensure the most efficient use of force and provide US leaders with a
broader range of [nuclear and conventional] strike options to address
immediate contingencies. Integration of conventional and nuclear forces is
therefore crucial to the success of any comprehensive strategy. This
integration will ensure optimal targeting, minimal collateral damage, and
reduce the probability of escalation."
(Doctrine for Joint Nuclear
Operations p. JP 3-12-13)
The new nuclear doctrine turns concepts and realities upside down.
only denies the devastating impacts of nuclear weapons, it states, in no
uncertain terms, that nuclear weapons are "safe" and their use in the
battlefield will ensure "minimal collateral damage and reduce the
probability of escalation". The issue of radioactive fallout is barely
acknowledged with regard to tactical nuclear weapons.
These various guiding
principles which describe nukes as "safe for civilians" constitute a
consensus within the military, which is then fed into the military manuals,
providing relevant "green light" criteria to geographical commanders in the
"Defensive" and "Offensive" Actions
2001 Nuclear Posture Review sets the stage for the preemptive use
of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, specifically against Iran (see also
the main PNAC document
Rebuilding America's Defenses, Strategy, Forces and
Resources for a New Century)
The Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations goes one step further in blurring
the distinction between "defensive" and "offensive" military actions:
"The new triad offers a mix of strategic offensive and defensive
capabilities that includes nuclear and non-nuclear strike capabilities,
active and passive defenses, and a robust research, development, and
industrial infrastructure to develop, build, and maintain offensive forces
and defensive systems..."
(key concepts indicated in added italics)
The new nuclear doctrine, however, goes beyond preemptive acts of
"self-defense", it calls for "anticipatory action" using nuclear weapons
against a "rogue enemy" which allegedly plans to develop WMD at some
undefined future date:
"Responsible security planning requires preparation for threats that are
possible, though perhaps unlikely today. The lessons of military history
remain clear: unpredictable, irrational conflicts occur. Military forces
must prepare to counter weapons and capabilities that exist or will exist in
the near term even if no immediate likely scenarios for war are at hand. To
maximize deterrence of WMD use, it is essential US forces prepare to use
nuclear weapons effectively and that US forces are determined to employ
nuclear weapons if necessary to prevent or retaliate against WMD use."
(Ibid, p. III-1, italics added)
Nukes would serve to prevent a non-existent WMD program (e.g. Iran) prior to
its development. This twisted formulation goes far beyond the premises of
the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review and NPSD 17. which state that the US can
retaliate with nuclear weapons if attacked with WMD:
"The United States will make clear that it reserves the right to respond
with overwhelming force – including potentially nuclear weapons – to the use
of [weapons of mass destruction] against the United States, our forces
abroad, and friends and allies"...
"Integration" of Nuclear and Conventional Weapons Plans
The Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations outlines the procedures governing
the use of nuclear weapons and the nature of the relationship between
nuclear and conventional war operations.
The DJNO states that the:
"use of nuclear weapons within a [war] theater requires that nuclear and
conventional plans be integrated to the greatest extent possible"
(DJNO, p 47 italics added, italics added, For further details see Michel
Nuclear War against Iran, Jan 2006)
The implications of this "integration" are far-reaching because once the
decision is taken by the Commander in Chief, namely the President of the
United States, to launch a joint conventional-nuclear military operation,
there is a risk that tactical nuclear weapons could be used without
requesting subsequent presidential approval.
In this regard, execution
procedures under the jurisdiction of the theater commanders pertaining to
nuclear weapons are described as "flexible and allow for changes in the
"Geographic combatant commanders are responsible for defining theater
objectives and developing nuclear plans required to support those
objectives, including selecting targets. When tasked, CDRUSSTRATCOM, as a
supporting combatant commander, provides detailed planning support to meet
theater planning requirements.
All theater nuclear option planning follows
prescribed Joint Operation Planning and Execution System procedures to
formulate and implement an effective response within the timeframe permitted
by the crisis..
Since options do not exist for every scenario, combatant commanders must
have a capability to perform crisis action planning and execute those plans.
Crisis action planning provides the capability to develop new options, or
modify existing options, when current limited or major response options are
...Command, control, and coordination must be flexible enough to allow the
geographic combatant commander to strike time-sensitive targets such as
mobile missile launch platforms."
Doctrine for Joint Nuclear
Theater Nuclear Operations (TNO)
While presidential approval is formally required to launch a nuclear war,
geographic combat commanders would be in charge of Theater Nuclear
Operations (TNO), with a mandate not only to implement but also to formulate
command decisions pertaining to nuclear weapons.
(see Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations.)
We are no longer dealing with "the risk" associated with "an accidental or
inadvertent nuclear launch" as outlined by former Secretary of Defense
Robert S. McNamara, but with a military decision-making process which
provides military commanders, from the Commander in Chief down to the
geographical commanders with discretionary powers to use tactical nuclear
Moreover, because these "smaller" tactical nuclear weapons have been
"reclassified" by the Pentagon as "safe for the surrounding civilian
population", thereby "minimizing the risk of collateral damage", there are
no overriding built-in restrictions which prevent their use.
(See Michel Chossudovsky,
The Dangers of a Middle East Nuclear War, Global Research,
Once a decision to launch a military operation is taken (e.g. aerial strikes
on Iran), theater commanders have a degree of latitude. What this signifies
in practice is once the presidential decision is taken, USSTRATCOM in
liaison with theater commanders can decide on the targeting and type of
weaponry to be used.
Stockpiled tactical nuclear weapons are now considered
to be an integral part of the battlefield arsenal.
In other words, nukes
have become "part of the tool box", used in conventional war theaters.
Planned Aerial Attacks on Iran
An operational plan to wage aerial attacks on Iran has been in "a state of
readiness" since June 2005. Essential military hardware to wage this
operation has been deployed. (For further details see Michel Chossudovsky,
Nuclear War against Iran, Jan 2006 ).
Vice President Dick Cheney has ordered USSTRATCOM to draft a "contingency
"includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both
conventional and tactical nuclear weapons."
Attack on Iran: Pre-emptive Nuclear War, The American Conservative, 2 August 2005).
USSTRATCOM would have the responsibility for overseeing and coordinating
this military deployment as well as launching the military operation. (For
details, Michel Chossudovsky, Nuclear War against Iran, Jan 2006).
In January 2005 a significant shift in USSTRATCOM's mandate was implemented.
USSTRATCOM was identified as "the lead Combatant Command for integration and
synchronization of DoD-wide efforts in combating weapons of mass
destruction." To implement this mandate, a brand new command unit entitled
Joint Functional Component Command Space and Global Strike, or
Overseen by USSTRATCOM, JFCCSGS would be responsible for the launching of
military operations "using nuclear or conventional weapons" in compliance
with the Bush administration's new nuclear doctrine. Both categories of
weapons would be integrated into a "joint strike operation" under unified
Command and Control.
According to Robert S. Norris and Hans M. Kristensen,
writing in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists,
"The Defense Department is upgrading its nuclear strike plans to reflect new
presidential guidance and a transition in war planning from the top-heavy
Single Integrated Operational Plan of the Cold War to a family of smaller
and more flexible strike plans designed to defeat today's adversaries. The
new central strategic war plan is known as OPLAN (Operations Plan) 8044...
This revised, detailed plan provides more flexible options to assure allies,
and dissuade, deter, and if necessary, defeat adversaries in a wider range
One member of the new family is CONPLAN 8022, a concept plan for the quick
use of nuclear, conventional, or information warfare capabilities to
destroy - preemptively, if necessary - "time-urgent targets" anywhere in the
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld issued an Alert Order in early 2004
that directed the military to put CONPLAN 8022 into effect. As a result, the
Bush administration's preemption policy is now operational on long-range
bombers, strategic submarines on deterrent patrol, and presumably
intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs)."
The operational implementation of the Global Strike would be under CONCEPT
PLAN (CONPLAN) 8022, which now consists of,
"an actual plan that the Navy and
the Air Force translate into strike package for their submarines and
(Japanese Economic Newswire, 30 December 2005, For further details
see Michel Chossudovsky, Nuclear War against Iran, op. cit.)
CONPLAN 8022 is 'the overall umbrella plan for sort of the pre-planned
strategic scenarios involving nuclear weapons.'
'It's specifically focused on these new types of threats - Iran, North
Korea - proliferators and potentially terrorists too,' he said. 'There's
nothing that says that they can't use CONPLAN 8022 in limited scenarios
against Russian and Chinese targets.'
(According to Hans Kristensen, of the
Nuclear Information Project, quoted in Japanese Economic News Wire, op.
Nuclear Weapons Deployment Authorization
The planning of the aerial bombings of Iran started in mid-2004, pursuant to
the formulation of CONPLAN 8022 in early 2004. In May 2004, National
Security Presidential Directive
NSPD 35 entitled Nuclear Weapons Deployment
Authorization was issued.
The contents of this highly sensitive document remains a carefully guarded
State secret. There has been no mention of NSPD 35 by the media nor even in
Congressional debates. While its contents remains classified, the
presumption is that NSPD 35 pertains to the deployment of tactical nuclear
weapons in the Middle East war theater in compliance with CONPLAN 8022.
In this regard, a recent press report published in Yeni Safak (Turkey)
suggests that the United States is currently:
"deploying B61-type tactical nuclear weapons in southern Iraq as part of a
plan to hit Iran from this area if and when Iran responds to an Israeli
attack on its nuclear facilities".
(Ibrahim Karagul, "The US is Deploying
Nuclear Weapons in Iraq Against Iran", (Yeni Safak,. 20 December 2005,
quoted in BBC Monitoring Europe).
This deployment in Iraq appears to be pursuant to NSPD 35,
What the Yenbi Safak report suggests is that conventional weapons would be
used in the first instance, and if Iran were to retaliate in response to
US-Israeli aerial attacks, tactical thermonuclear B61 weapons could then be
launched This retaliation using tactical nuclear weapons would be consistent
with the guidelines contained in the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review and NSPD 17.
Israel's Stockpiling of Conventional and Nuclear Weapons
Israel is part of the military alliance and is slated to play a major role
in the planned attacks on Iran.
(For details see Michel Chossudovsky,
Nuclear War against Iran, Jan 2006 ).
Confirmed by several press reports, Israel has taken delivery, starting in
September 2004 of some 500 US produced
BLU 109 bunker buster bombs (WP,
January 6, 2006). The first procurement order for BLU 109 [Bomb Live Unit]
dates to September 2004. In April 2005, Washington confirmed that Israel was
to take delivery of 100 of the more sophisticated bunker buster bomb GBU-28
produced by Lockheed Martin (Reuters, April 26, 2005).
The GBU-28 is
described as "a 5,000-pound laser-guided conventional munitions that uses a
4,400-pound penetrating warhead." It was used in the Iraqi war theater:
The Pentagon [stated] that ... the sale to
Israel of 500 BLU-109 warheads, [was] meant to "contribute significantly
to U.S. strategic and tactical objectives."
Mounted on satellite-guided bombs, BLU-109s can be fired from F-15 or F-16
jets, U.S.-made aircraft in Israel's arsenal. This year Israel received the
first of a fleet of 102 long-range F-16Is from Washington, its main ally.
"Israel very likely manufactures its own bunker busters, but they are not as
robust as the 2,000-pound (910 kg) BLUs," Robert Hewson, editor of Jane's
Air-Launched Weapons, told Reuters.
(Reuters, 21 September 2004)
The report does not confirm whether Israel has stockpiled and deployed the
thermonuclear version of the bunker buster bomb. Nor does it indicate
whether the Israeli made bunker buster bombs are equipped with nuclear
It is worth noting that this stock piling of bunker buster bombs
occurred within a few months after the Release of the NPSD 35¸ Nuclear
Weapons Deployment Authorization (May 2004).
Israel possesses 100-200
strategic nuclear warheads.
In 2003, Washington
and Tel Aviv confirmed that they were collaborating in,
"the deployment of
US-supplied Harpoon cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads in Israel's
fleet of Dolphin-class submarines."
(The Observer, 12 October 2003)
more recent developments, which coincide with the preparations of strikes
against Iran, Israel has taken delivery of two new German produced
"that could launch nuclear-armed cruise missiles for a
(Newsweek, 13 February 2006.
See also CDI Data
Israel's tactical nuclear weapons capabilities are not known
Israel's participation in the aerial attacks will also act as a political
bombshell throughout the Middle East. It would contribute to escalation,
with a war zone which could extend initially into Lebanon and Syria.
entire region from the Eastern Mediterranean to Central Asia and
Afghanistan's Western frontier would be affected..
The Role of Western Europe
Several Western European countries, officially considered as "non-nuclear
states", possess tactical nuclear weapons, supplied to them by Washington.
The US has supplied some 480 B61 thermonuclear bombs to five non-nuclear
NATO countries including Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and
Turkey, and one nuclear country, the United Kingdom. Casually disregarded by
the Vienna based UN Nuclear Watch, the US has actively contributed to the
proliferation of nuclear weapons in Western Europe.
As part of this European stockpiling, Turkey, which is a partner of the
US-led coalition against Iran along with Israel, possesses some 90
thermonuclear B61 bunker buster bombs at the Incirlik nuclear air base.
(National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe, February
Consistent with US nuclear policy, the stockpiling and deployment of B61 in
Western Europe are intended for targets in the Middle East.
accordance with "NATO strike plans", these thermonuclear B61 bunker buster
bombs (stockpiled by the "non-nuclear States") could be launched,
targets in Russia or countries in the Middle East such as Syria and Iran".
National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe,
Moreover, confirmed by (partially) declassified documents (released under
the U.S. Freedom of Information Act):
"arrangements were made in the mid-1990s to allow the use of U.S. nuclear
forces in Europe outside the area of responsibility of U.S. European Command
(EUCOM). As a result of these arrangements, EUCOM now supports CENTCOM
nuclear missions in the Middle East, including, potentially, against Iran
With the exception of the US, no other nuclear power,
"has nuclear weapons
earmarked for delivery by non-nuclear countries."
Defense Council, op cit)
While these "non-nuclear states" casually accuse Tehran of developing
nuclear weapons, without documentary evidence, they themselves have
capabilities of delivering nuclear warheads, which are targeted at Iran.
say that this is a clear case of "double standards" by the IAEA and the
"international community" is a understatement.
Germany - De Facto Nuclear Power
Among the five "non-nuclear states",
"Germany remains the most heavily nuclearized country with three nuclear bases (two of which are fully
operational) and may store as many as 150 [B61 bunker buster ] bombs".
In accordance with "NATO strike plans" (mentioned above) these
tactical nuclear weapons are also targeted at the Middle East.
While Germany is not officially a nuclear power, it produces nuclear
warheads for the French Navy. It stockpiles nuclear warheads and it has the
capabilities of delivering nuclear weapons.
The European Aeronautic Defense
and Space Company -
EADS, a Franco-German-Spanish joint venture
by Deutsche Aerospace and the powerful Daimler Group is Europe's second
largest military producer, supplying France's M51 nuclear missile.
France Endorses the Preemptive Nuclear Doctrine
In January 2006, French President Jacques Chirac announced a major shift in
France's nuclear policy.
Without mentioning Iran, Chirac intimated that France's nukes should be used
in the form of "more focused attacks" against countries, which were
"considering" the deployment of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).
He also hinted to the possibility that tactical nuclear weapons could be
used in conventional war theaters, very much in line with both US and NATO
nuclear doctrine. (See
Chirac shifts French doctrine for use of nuclear
weapons, Nucleonics Week January 26, 2006).
The French president seems to have embraced the US sponsored "War on
Terrorism". He presented nuclear weapons as a means to build a safer World
and combat terrorism:
Nuclear weapons are not meant to be used against,
nevertheless "the leaders of states which used terrorist means against us,
as well as those who considered using, in one way or another, weapons of
mass destruction, must understand that they are exposing themselves to a
firm, appropriate response on our side...".
Although Chirac made no reference to the preemptive use of nuclear weapons,
his statement broadly replicates the premises of the Bush administration's
2001 Nuclear Posture Review, which calls for the use of tactical nuclear
weapons against ''rogue states" and "terrorist non-state organizations".
Building a Pretext for a Preemptive Nuclear Attack
The pretext for waging war on Iran essentially rests on two fundamental
premises, which are part of the Bush administration's National Security
Iran's alleged possession of "Weapons of Mass Destruction" (WMD),
more specifically its nuclear enrichment program
Iran's alleged support to "Islamic terrorists"
These are two interrelated statements which are an integral part of the
propaganda and media disinformation campaign.
The "Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)" statement is used to justify the
"pre-emptive war" against the "State sponsors of terror" - i.e. countries
such as Iran and North Korea which allegedly possess WMD. Iran is identified
as a State sponsor of so-called "non-State terrorist organizations".
latter also possess WMDs and potentially constitute a nuclear threat.
Terrorist non-state organizations are presented as a "nuclear power".
"The enemies in this [long] war are not traditional conventional military
forces but rather dispersed, global terrorist networks that exploit Islam to
advance radical political aims. These enemies have the avowed aim of
acquiring and using nuclear and biological weapons to murder hundreds of
thousands of Americans and others around the world."
In contrast, Germany and Israel which produce and possess nuclear warheads
are not considered "nuclear powers".
In recent months, the pretext for war, building on this WMD-Islamic
terrorist nexus, has been highlighted ad nauseam, on a daily basis by the
In a testimony to the US Senate Budget Committee, Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice accused Iran and Syria of destabilizing the Middle East and
providing support to militant Islamic groups.
She described Iran as the "a
central banker for terrorism", not withstanding the fact amply documented
that Al Qaeda has been supported and financed from its inception in the
early 1980s by none other than the CIA.
(See Michel Chossudovsky,
Osama bin Laden, Global Research 2001).
"It's not just Iran's nuclear program but also their support for terrorism
around the world. They are, in effect, the central banker for terrorism,"
(Statement to the Senate Budget Committee, 16 February 2006)
"Second 9/11": Cheney's "Contingency Plan"
While the "threat" of Iran's alleged WMD is slated for debate at the UN
Security Council, Vice President Dick Cheney is reported to have instructed USSTRATCOM to draw up a contingency plan,
"to be employed in response to
another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States".
plan" to attack Iran uses the pretext of a "Second 9/11" which has not yet
happened, to prepare for a major military operation against Iran.
The contingency plan, which is characterized by a military build up in
anticipation of possible aerial strikes against Iran, is in a "state of
What is diabolical is that the justification to wage war on Iran rests on
Iran's involvement in a terrorist attack on America, which has not yet
The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both
conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than
450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected
nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened
or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons,
hence the nuclear option.
As in the case of Iraq, the response is not
conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed
against the United States.
Several senior Air Force officers involved in the
planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are
doing - that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack - but no one
is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections.
Attack on Iran: Pre-emptive Nuclear War, The American Conservative, 2
Are we to understand that US military planners are waiting in limbo for a
Second 9/11, to launch a military operation directed against Iran, which is
currently in a "state of readiness"?
Cheney's proposed "contingency plan" does not focus on preventing a Second
The Cheney plan is predicated on the presumption that Iran would be
behind a Second 9/11 and that punitive bombings would immediately be
activated, prior to the conduct of an investigation, much in the same way as
the attacks on Afghanistan in October 2001, allegedly in retribution for the
role of the Taliban government in support of the 9/11 terrorists. It is
worth noting that the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan had been planned
well in advance of 9/11.
As Michael Keefer points out in an incisive review
"At a deeper level, it implies that
“9/11-type terrorist attacks” are recognized in Cheney’s office and the
Pentagon as appropriate means of legitimizing wars of aggression against
any country selected for that treatment by the regime and its corporate
(Keefer, February 2006)
Keefer concludes that,
"an attack on Iran, which would presumably involve the
use of significant numbers of extremely ‘dirty’ earth-penetrating nuclear
bombs, might well be made to follow a dirty-bomb attack on the United
States, which would be represented in the media as having been carried out
by Iranian agents".
(Keefer, February 2006)
The Battle for Oil
The Anglo-American oil companies are indelibly behind Cheney's "contingency
plan" to wage war on Iran. The latter is geared towards territorial and
corporate control over oil and gas reserves as well as pipeline routes.
There is continuity in US Middle East war plans, from the Democrats to the
Republicans. The essential features of Neoconservative discourse were
already in place under the Clinton administration.
US Central Command's (USCENTCOM)
theater strategy in the mid-1990s was geared towards securing, from an
economic and military standpoint, control over Middle East oil.
"The broad national security interests and objectives expressed in the
President's National Security Strategy (NSS) and the Chairman's National
Military Strategy (NMS) form the foundation of the United States Central
Command's theater strategy.
The NSS directs implementation of a strategy of
dual containment of the rogue states of Iraq and Iran as long as those
states pose a threat to U.S. interests, to other states in the region, and
to their own citizens.
Dual containment is designed to maintain the balance
of power in the region without depending on either Iraq or Iran. USCENTCOM's
theater strategy is interest-based and threat-focused. The purpose of U.S.
engagement, as espoused in the NSS, is to protect the United States' vital
interest in the region - uninterrupted, secure U.S./Allied access to Gulf
Iran possesses 10 percent of global oil and gas reserves, The US is the
first and foremost military and nuclear power in the World, but it possesses
less than 3 percent of global oil and gas reserves.
On the other hand, the countries inhabited by Muslims, including the Middle
East, North Africa, Central Asia, West and Central Africa, Malaysia,
Indonesia and Brunei, possess approximately 80 percent of the World's oil
and gas reserves.
The "war on terrorism" and the hate campaign directed against Muslims, which
has gained impetus in recent months, bears a direct relationship to the
"Battle for Middle East Oil".
How best to conquer these vast oil reserves
located in countries inhabited by Muslims? Build a political consensus
against Muslim countries, describe them as "uncivilized", denigrate their
culture and religion, implement ethnic profiling against Muslims in Western
countries, foster hatred and racism against the inhabitants of the oil
The values of Islam are said to be tied into "Islamic terrorism". Western
governments are now accusing Iran of "exporting terrorism to the West".
the words of Prime Minister Tony Blair:
"There is a virus of extremism which comes out of the cocktail of religious
fanaticism and political repression in the Middle East which is now being
exported to the rest of the world.
We will only secure our future if we are
dealing with every single aspect of that problem. Our future security
depends on sorting out the stability of that region.
You can never say
never in any of these situations."
(quoted in the Mirror, 7 February 2006)
Muslims are demonized, casually identified with "Islamic terrorists", who
are also described as constituting a nuclear threat. In turn, the terrorists
are supported by Iran, an Islamic Republic which threatens the "civilized
World" with deadly nuclear weapons (which it does not possess).
America's humanitarian "nuclear weapons will be accurate, safe and
The World is at a Critical Cross-roads
It is not Iran which is a threat to global security but the United States of
America and Israel.
In recent developments, Western European governments - including the
so-called "non-nuclear states" which possess nuclear weapons-- have joined
the bandwagon. In chorus, Western Europe and the member states of the
Atlantic alliance (NATO) have endorsed the US-led military initiative
The Pentagon's planned aerial attacks on Iran involve "scenarios" using both
nuclear and conventional weapons. While this does not imply the use of
nuclear weapons, the potential danger of a Middle East nuclear holocaust
must, nonetheless, be taken seriously. It must become a focal point of the
antiwar movement, particularly in the United States, Western Europe, Israel
It should also be understood that China and Russia are (unofficially) allies
of Iran, supplying them with advanced military equipment and a sophisticated
missile defense system. It is unlikely that China and Russia will take on a
passive position if and when the aerial bombardments are carried out.
The new preemptive nuclear doctrine calls for the "integration" of
"defensive" and "offensive" operations. Moreover, the important distinction
between conventional and nuclear weapons has been blurred...
From a military standpoint, the US and its coalition partners including
Israel and Turkey are in "a state of readiness."
Through media disinformation, the objective is to galvanize Western public
opinion in support of a US-led war on Iran in retaliation for Iran's
defiance of the international community.
War propaganda consists in "fabricating an enemy" while conveying the
illusion that the Western World is under attack by Islamic terrorists, who
are directly supported by the Tehran government.
"Make the World safer",
"Prevent the proliferation of dirty nuclear devices
"Implement punitive actions against Iran to ensure the
"Combat nuclear proliferation by rogue states"...
Supported by the Western media, a generalized atmosphere of racism and
xenophobia directed against Muslims has unfolded, particularly in Western
Europe, which provides a fake legitimacy to the US war agenda.
The latter is
upheld as a "Just War".
The "Just war" theory serves to camouflage the
nature of US war plans, while providing a human face to the invaders.
What can be done?
The antiwar movement is in many regards divided and misinformed on the
nature of the US military agenda.
Several non-governmental organizations
have placed the blame on Iran, for not complying with the "reasonable
demands" of the "international community". These same organizations, which
are committed to World Peace tend to downplay the implications of the
proposed US bombing of Iran.
To reverse the tide requires a massive campaign of networking and outreach
to inform people across the land, nationally and internationally, in
neighborhoods, workplaces, parishes, schools, universities, municipalities,
on the dangers of a US sponsored war, which contemplates the use of nuclear
weapons. The message should be loud and clear: Iran is not the threat. Even
without the use of nukes, the proposed aerial bombardments could result in
escalation, ultimately leading us into a broader war in the Middle East.
Debate and discussion must also take place within the Military and
Intelligence community, particularly with regard to the use of tactical
nuclear weapons, within the corridors of the US Congress, in municipalities
and at all levels of government. Ultimately, the legitimacy of the political
and military actors in high office must be challenged.
The corporate media also bears a heavy responsibility for the cover-up of US
sponsored war crimes. It must also be forcefully challenged for its biased
coverage of the Middle East war.
For the past year, Washington has been waging a "diplomatic arm twisting"
exercise with a view to enlisting countries into supporting of its military
agenda. It is essential that at the diplomatic level, countries in the
Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America take a firm stance against the
US military agenda.
Condoleezza Rice has trekked across the Middle East, "expressing concern
over Iran's nuclear program", seeking the unequivocal endorsement of the
governments of the region against Tehran. Meanwhile
has allocated funds in support of Iranian dissident groups within Iran.
What is needed is to break the conspiracy of silence, expose the media lies
and distortions, confront the criminal nature of the US Administration and
of those governments which support it, its war agenda as well as its
so-called "Homeland Security agenda" which has already defined the contours
of a police State.
The World is at the crossroads of the most serious crisis in modern history.
The US has embarked on a military adventure, "a long war", which threatens
the future of humanity.
It is essential to bring the US war project to the forefront of political
debate, particularly in North America and Western Europe. Political and
military leaders who are opposed to the war must take a firm stance, from
within their respective institutions.
Citizens must take a stance
individually and collectively against war.
Note: Readers are welcome to cross-post this article with a view to
spreading the word and warning people of the dangers of nuclear war.
Click below image to see "Details and Map of Nuclear Facilities" located in 5 European
The stockpiled weapons are B61 thermonuclear bombs. All the weapons are
gravity bombs of the B61-3, -4, and -10 types 2.
Those estimates were based on private and public statements by a number of
government sources and assumptions about the weapon storage capacity at each
base. (National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe, February
Five basic types of US Military Plans:
Campaign Plan (CAMPLAN):
A plan for a series of related military
operations aimed at accomplishing a strategic or operational objective
within a given time and space (e.g., campaign plan for Iraq incorporating a
number of subordinate specific plans).
Operations Plan (OPLAN):
A completed plan required when there is
compelling national interest, when a specific threat exists, and/or when the
nature of the contingency requires detailed planning (e.g., North Korea).
OPLANs contains all formatted annexes (see below), and Time Phased Force and
Deployment Data (TPFDD), a database containing units to be deployed, routing
of deploying units, movement data of forces, personnel, logistics and
transportation requirements. An OPLAN can be used as a basis for development
of an Operations Order (OPORD).
Operations Plan in Concept Form Only (CONPLAN):
An operations plan in an
abbreviated format prepared for less compelling national interest
contingencies than for OPLANs and for unspecific threats. A CONPLAN requires
expansion or alteration to convert into an OPLAN or OPORD.
includes a statement of Strategic Concept and annexes A-D and K (see below). CONPLANs that do have TPFDDs are usually developed because of international
agreement or treaties.
Functional plans (FUNCPLAN):
An operations plan involving the conduct of
military operations in a peacetime or non-hostile environment (e.g.,
disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, counter-drug, or peacekeeping
Theater Security Cooperation and Theater Engagement Plans (TSCPs and TEPs):
Day-to-day plans to set the initial conditions for future military action in
terms of multinational capabilities, U.S. military access, coalition
interoperability, and intelligence
Supplement to Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs,
and Operations in the 9/11 World , by William Arkin (2005)
Timeline in the Development of US Nuclear doctrine
2002-2006 - excerpts
The Nuclear Information Project
January 8: The Nuclear Posture Review is officially published.
June: White House issues National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) 14,
"Nuclear Weapons Planning Guidance."
September 14: White House issues National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD)
17, "National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction."
September 17: White House issues the National Security Strategy of the
United States. The document publicly formulates a more proactive preemption
December 10: White House issues "National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass
Destruction," the unclassified version of National Security Presidential
Directive (NSPD) 17. The wording in NSPD 17 of using "potentially nuclear
weapons" is replaced with "all of our options."
December 16: White House issues National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD)
23, "National Policy on Ballistic Missile Defense."
January 10: President Bush signs Change 2 to the Unified Command Plan (UCP),
which assigns four emerging missions to STRATCOM: missile defense, global
strike, information operations, and global C4ISR. (Command and Control,
Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Sensors and Reconnaissance). The
directive identifies global strike as "a capability to deliver rapid,
extended range, precision kinetic (nuclear and conventional) and non-kinetic
(elements of space and information operations) effects in support of theater
and national objectives."
March: Defense Secretary Rumsfeld issues "Nuclear Posture Review:
Implementation Plan, DOD Implementation of the December 2001 Nuclear Posture
Review Report to Congress."
April: STRATCOM issues CONPLAN (Concept Plan) 8022-01, Strategic Concept.
June 4: STRATCOM issues CONPLAN 8022-02, Strategic Concept draft.
June: White House issues National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) 28,
"United States Nuclear Weapons Command and Control, Safety, and Security."
The guidance "provides direction on various nuclear issues, to include
October 1: OPLAN (Operation Plan) 8044, the first strategic plan not using
the name SIOP, is put into effect by STRATCOM.
November: The first CONPLAN 8022 (Global Strike) is completed by STRATCOM.
April 19: Defense Secretary Rumsfeld issues NUWEP (Nuclear Weapons
Employment Policy). The document states in part: "U.S. nuclear forces must
be capable of, and be seen to be capable of, destroying those critical
war-making and war-supporting assets and capabilities that a potential enemy
leadership values most and that it would rely on to achieve its own
objectives in a post-war world."
May 24: Air Combat Command publishes Global Strike CONOPS.
May: White House issues National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) 35,
"Nuclear Weapons Deployment Authorization," which authorizes deployment of
tactical nuclear weapons in Europe.
July 8: STRATCOM commander General E. Cartwright informs Congress that
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld "just signed the Interim Global Strike
Alert Order, which provides the President a prompt, global strike
capability." The Alert Order directs the Air Force and Navy to put CONPLAN
8022 into effect on selected strike platforms including long-range bombers
and strategic submarines.
August 17: STRATCOM publishes Global Strike Interim Capability Operations
October 1: OPLAN 8044 Revision 01 becomes effective. According to Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard B. Myers, "STRATCOM has revised
our strategic deterrence and response plan that became effective in the fall
of 2004. This revised, detailed plan provides more flexible options to
assure allies, and dissuade, deter, and if necessary, defeat adversaries in
a wider range of contingencies.” (emphasis added)
November: CJCS publishes "Strategic Deterrence Joint Operating Concept."
January 10: CJCS issues Global Strike Joint Integrating Concept, Version 1.
March 1: President Bush signs Unified Command Plan 2004.
October 1: OPLAN 8044 Revision 02 is put into effect by STRATCOM. According
to the Pentagon, this was a "major revamping" of the U.S. strategic war plan
which, among other issues, included the "integration of conventional strike
options into [the] OPLAN."
Early 2006: CJCS is scheduled to publish updated Doctrine for Joint Nuclear
Operations (Joint Pub 3-12). However, this and three other Joint Pub nuclear
documents were cancelled.
February 6: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld released the Quadrennial